Elliott Smith — XO [Deluxe Edition] (Aug. 25, 1998/2019)Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)Birth name: Steven Paul Smith
Born: August 6, 1969, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Died: October 21, 2003, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Record Label: DreamWorks Records
ζ→     The digital deluxe version of 1998’s XO features all 14 of his beloved tracks, such as “Waltz #2 (XO)” and “Pitseleh,” as well as seven bonus tracks that have never been released on digital listening platforms.
ζ→     “Our Thing,” “How To Take A Fall” and “The Enemy Is You” can all be streamed for the first time, along with others. The 1997 track that showcased Smith’s immense songwriting talents, “Miss Misery” was featured in Good Will Hunting and appears on the deluxe album version. The song was also nominated for an Oscar.
ζ→     2000’s Figure 8 was Smith’s final album of his lifetime. The new deluxe version includes the original release’s 16 well~known tracks, such as “Somebody That I Used To Know” and “Son of Sam.” Five bonus tracks make their digital debuts, including “A Living Will,” “I Can’t Answer You Anymore,” and “Figure 8,” Smith’s cover of the 1973 Schoolhouse Rock song. Smith’s cover of The Beatles and contribution to the 1999 American Beauty soundtrack, “Because,” is the final track of the new album version.
ζ→     According to a press release, the expansive deluxe editions of Smith’s DreamWorks Records releases “allow for a deeper dive into (Smith’s) creative process with the addition of these rare tracks, serving as a reminder of Smith’s remarkable talent and the incredible body of work he created in a life that was cut far too short at the age of 34 in 2003.”
■     Revisit Smith’s delicate vocals and intricate acoustic fingerpicking on the digital deluxe versions of XO and Figure 8 on digital platforms, and check out both of their tracklists below, along with a 1998 Smith performance from the Paste archives.
Duration:      44:41+26:49 => 71:30 / 52:08+18:39 => 70:47
01. Sweet Adeline   3:15
02. Tomorrow Tomorrow   3:07
03. Waltz #2 (XO)   4:40
04. Baby Britain   3:14
05. Pitseleh   3:23
06. Independence Day   3:04
07. Bled White   3:23
08. Waltz #1   3:22
09. Amity   2:20
10. Oh Well, OK   2:32
11. Bottle Up And Explode!   2:58
12. A Question Mark   2:41
13. Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands   4:22
14. I Didn’t Understand   2:20
15. Our Thing   3:00
16. How To Take A Fall   2:52
17. The Enemy Is You   2:24
18. Some Song (Alternate Version)   2:27
19. Waltz #1 (Demo)   3:02
20. Bottle Up And Explode (Early Version)   2:39
21. Baby Britain (Remix)   3:14
22. Waltz #2 (Radio Edit)   3:59
23. Miss Misery   3:12
Figure 8
01. Son Of Sam   3:04
02. Somebody That I Used To Know   2:09
03. Junk Bond Trader   3:50
04. Everything Reminds Me Of Her   2:38
05. Everything Means Nothing To Me   2:23
06. L.A.   3:14
07. In The Lost And Found (Honky Bach)/The Roost   4:33
08. Stupidity Tries   4:24
09. Easy Way Out   2:44
10. Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud   3:26
11. Colorbars   2:20
12. Happiness/The Gondola Bar   5:04
13. Pretty Mary Kay   2:36
14. Better Be Quiet Bar   3:35
15. Can’t Make A Sound   4:15
16. Bye   1:53
17. Figure 8   1:32
18. A Living Will   2:32
19. Son Of Sam (Acoustic)   3:05
20. I Can’t Answer You Anymore   2:44
21. Pretty Mary K (Alternate Version)   2:55
22. Happiness (Acoustic)   3:31
23. Because   2:20
•    Elliott Smith — vocals (1~15), electric guitar (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15), acoustic guitar (2, 4, 9~15), piano (1, 3, 5, 7, 11~13, 15), bass guitar (1, 3, 6, 10, 12, 15), drums (1, 5, 6, 12, 13), Hammond organ (1, 7, 10, 12, 13), pump organ (7), Chamberlin (5, 8~10, 15), harpsichord (3), orchestra bells (3), shakers (11), marching bass drum (12), guitar loops (7, 12), “rolling bass drums” (15), string arrangement (3, 7, 8, 11, 15), production
Additional personnel:
•    Sam Coomes — bass guitar (“Everything Means Nothing to Me”, “In the Lost and Found (Honky Bach)”, “Stupidity Tries”, “Pretty Mary K”)
•    Pete Thomas — drums (“Junk Bond Trader”, “Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud?”, “Can’t Make a Sound”)
•    Joey Waronker — drums (“Stupidity Tries”)
•    Jon Brion — backing vocals (“Happiness”/“The Gondola Man”)
•    Suzie Katayama — string conduction and orchestration (“Junk Bond Trader”, “In the Lost and Found (Honky Bach)”, “Color Bars”, “Can’t Make a Sound”)
•    Matt Dunkley — string conduction and orchestration (“Stupidity Tries”)
•    Rob Schnapf — production
•    Tom Rothrock — production
•    Don C. Tyler — mastering
•    Paul Hicks — engineering assistance (Abbey Road Studios)
•    Charlie Paakkari — engineering assistance (Capitol Studios)
•    Dann Thompson — engineering assistance (Capitol Studios)
•    Jimmy Hoyson — engineering assistance (Capitol Studios)
•    Steve Genewick — engineering assistance (Capitol Studios)
•    Richard Baron — engineering assistance (Sonora Studios)
•    Geoff Walcha — engineering assistance (Sunset Sound Recorders)
•    Monique Mizrahi — engineering assistance (Sunset Sound Recorders)
•    Autumn DeWilde — sleeve art direction, design and photography
•    Dale Smith — sleeve art direction and design
★    Australian Albums Chart    #45
★    UK Albums Chart    #37
★    US Billboard 200    #99
★    United Kingdom (BPI)    Silver    60,000^
By Tim Peacock
ζ→     In celebration of what would have been Elliott Smith’s 50th birthday today, UMe has released digital deluxe editions of his major label masterpieces XO and Figure 8, expanding the albums to include all the b~sides and assorted tracks that were released on the various singles, promos and international editions of the albums. Available now for streaming and download, the digital deluxe versions include several fan~favorite songs that have never been available digitally until now and represent everything Smith released during his time on DreamWorks Records.
ζ→     XO has been expanded to include nine tracks recorded and released during the XO era and features a handful of excellent B~sides released on the UK singles for ‘Waltz #2’ and ‘Baby Britain:’ the instrumental ‘Our Thing,’ the rocker ‘How To Take A Fall,’ the brooding ‘The Enemy Is You’ and the full band version of ‘Some Song (Alternate Version).’ It also includes a demo of ‘Waltz #1’ and an early version of ‘Bottle Up and Explode!,’ as well as a remix of ‘Baby Britain’ and a radio edit of ‘Waltz #2.’ It’s rounded out with ‘Miss Misery,’ Smith’s Oscar~nominated song from Good Will Hunting that was included as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of XO. Aside from ‘Waltz #1 (Demo)’ and ‘Miss Misery,’ all songs are making their digital debuts on all streaming and download platforms.
ζ→     The bonus tracks of Figure 8 include the titular, faithful cover of the ‘School House Rock’ classic, written by Bob Dorough, that gave the album its name but was only released as a b~side on the UK ‘Son Of Sam’ single along with the rollicking gem ‘A Living Will.’ Three songs from the rare French promo 3 Titres Inedits are included: the Beatles~y ‘I Can’t Answer You Anymore,’ ‘Pretty Mary K (Alternate Version)’ and ‘Happiness (Acoustic).’ An acoustic version of ‘Son Of Sam’ is also featured along with Smith’s gorgeous cover of The Beatles’ ‘Because,’ which was featured in the film American Beauty and on its soundtrack and included on the Japanese edition of Figure 8. That track along with ‘Son Of Sam’ (Acoustic) are the only ones that were previously available digitally.
ζ→     XO signified a major evolution for Smith and a critical turning point in his career, away from the lo~fi indie folk confessionals laid bare on his previous three albums and toward a more stereophonic, full band sound. XO was released on 25 August 1998, just a few months after Smith was reluctantly thrust into the spotlight with a life~changing performance at the Academy Awards for his Academy Award~nominated song, the “Good Will Hunting” closer, ‘Miss Misery.’
ζ→     With the backing and resources of his new label DreamWorks Records and the help of producer team Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock, Smith embraced his opportunity to create a lush, ambitious, and beautifully complex album unlike anything he had done before. XO finds Smith coloring his introspective acoustic songs, still filled with understated melodies and barbed one~liners, with shades of rich, Beatlesque production, string~laden baroque pop and spirited rock.
ζ→     Universally hailed upon release, XO topped best of lists in 1998 and continues to resonate, as powerfully moving as ever, more than 20 years later. The album is consistently included on greatest albums list and was featured on Spin’s “Top 125 Albums of the Past 25 Years” and Pitchfork’s “Top 100 Albums of the 1990s.” Praising the album, Pitchfork wrote, “Elliott Smith used his DreamWorks debut, XO, as an opportunity to further focus the emotional power of his previous releases. Melancholy and grandiosity may seem mutually exclusive, but on XO, they’re combined to wonderful effect, each crystalline guitar line and majestic piano arpeggio adding momentum and depth to Smith’s gorgeous and impassioned vocals.”
ζ→     Following the breakout success of XO, Smith again teamed up with producers Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock for his Technicolor follow up, Figure 8, released on 18 April 2000 on DreamWorks. The album was recorded throughout 1998~2000 at several studios including Sunset Sound and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Smith’s musical temple, Abbey Road Studios in London, where he used the piano that The Beatles used to record ‘Fool On The Hill.’ Unlike XO’s major shift from the albums that came before it, Figure 8 continued Smith’s penchant for ambitious arrangements but took them into even bigger, bolder and sometimes weirder territory.
ζ→     Revisiting two of Elliott Smith’s most accomplished albums on the occasion of his 50th birthday, XO and Figure 8’s new digital deluxe editions allows for a deeper dive into his creative process with the addition of these rare tracks, serving as a reminder of Smith’s remarkable talent and the incredible body of work he created in a life that was cut far too short at the age of 34 in 2003.
ζ→     https://www.udiscovermusic.com/
ζ→     In celebration of what would have been his 50th birthday.
ζ→     In celebration of what would’ve been the late singer~songwriter Elliott Smith’s 50th birthday, his seminal XO and Figure 8 albums have been released as digital deluxe editions.
ζ→     These bolstered releases include rarities, B~sides and demos. The new XO features nine added tracks, including an early version of Bottle Up And Explode!, a remix of Baby Britain, and Miss Misery, Smith’s oscar~nominated track for the film Good Will Hunting.
ζ→     Figure 8 on the other hand has been beefed up with seven tracks. Included in this version is a cover of Schoolhouse Rock!’s Figure 8, which originally only appeared on the Japanese edition of Smith’s album. There’s also a cover of the Beatles’ Because on the new release which featured on the 1999 American Beauty soundtrack.
ζ→    https://guitar.com 
Website: http://www.sweetadeline.net/ XO
•    Elliott Smith — guitar, vocals, piano, bass guitar, drums, organ, mandolin, electric piano, melodica, percussion, string and horn arrangements, production, recording (all tracks except 4 and 9)
Additional personnel:
•    Rob Schnapf — guitar (“Baby Britain”), production, recording (all tracks except 4 and 9)
•    Paul Pulvirenti — drums on “Baby Britain”
•    Tom Rothrock — drum programming (“Independence Day”), production, recording (all tracks except 4 and 9)
•    Joey Waronker — drums (“Bled White”, “Bottle Up and Explode!”)
•    Jon Brion — vibraphone and Chamberlin (“Waltz #1”, “Bottle Up and Explode!”, “Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands”)
•    Shelly Berg — string and horn arrangements
•    Tom Halm — string and horn arrangements
•    Bruce Eskovitz — bass saxophone, baritone saxophone on “A Question Mark”, flute on “Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands”
•    R. James Atkinson — French horn on “Oh Well, Okay”
•    Roy Poper — trumpet on “Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands”
•    Farhad Behroozi — strings
•    Henry Ferber — strings
•    Jerrod Goodman — strings
•    Pamela DeAlmeida — strings
•    Peter Hatch — strings
•    Raymond Tischer II — strings
•    Russel Cantor — strings
•    Waldemar DeAlmeida — strings
•    Alex Sanderson — engineering assistance
•    Doug Boehm — engineering assistance
•    Richard Barron — engineering assistance
•    Stephen Marcussen — mastering
•    Larry Crane — recording (tracks 4 and 9)
•    Johnson and Wolverton — sleeve artwork
•    Eric Matthies — sleeve photography
★    Swedish Albums Chart     #41
★    US Billboard 200     #104
★    Australian ARIA Charts     #46
★    United Kingdom (BPI)    Silver    60,000^
★    United States (RIAA)    none    400,000